Wednesday, March 26, 2008


We just returned from another crappy meal. It’s not that we’re spoiled; it’s that our emotional state is dependent on the quality of caloric input. The calamari was rubbery to the max, the cheese on Emma’s pizza made me gag so much that I couldn’t get it down, and the chocolate milk shake was warm, so it was probably just milk mixed with Ovaltine.

We’ve had terrible luck so far with food in Zanzibar. I’m not a picky eater: I was raised with the clean-plate-club-mentality, and for the last 10 years food’s served more as a fuel than a source of enjoyment. And because of that, I have a finely tuned sense of nourishment and non-nourishment: and this food is not up to par.

Dad’s been asking for pictures of food, but I haven’t had the heart to pull out the camera for fish tacos that have two meager chunks of fish each accompanied by French fries that are still cold in the center. We even gave this place in question a second chance (which failed) because it was the top rated restaurant on the island.

As we commiserate over our failed attempts at finding good food, we usually start talking about the burrito places we’ll hit up when we get back to the states, or the first thing we’ll cook up, like a bomb breakfast sandwich with great sausage the Spiros always get, or a breakfast burrito with Jose’s salsa and homemade guacamole. Mmmmm…..

We also take turns at deciding where to go, both of us hoping not to be the one that chose the terrible restaurant. And we’d love to make food ourselves, but the markets are mostly seafood hidden by a swarm of flies (and the octopus doesn’t look especially appealing, anyway).

We’re currently staying in a small town that has a gorgeous beach and half dozen places to stay, all with their own restaurants overlooking the water. The people seem tired and a bit frosty, but the beach is only 100 feet away and is perfect for swimming and has a great green color to it. Just after sunset, the water was so inviting I couldn’t resist jumping in. It was peaceful to watch the silhouettes of dhows coming back to the beach. Dhows are old-school wooden fishing sailboats with a triangle sail. They look really cool. I’d like to try and get onto one.

Two momentous occasions: we trimmed my beard an imperceptible amount, and Emma shaved her legs.

We're heading to the east coast now to hopefully get some snorkeling in and stuff.

That’s all for now. Hope all is well back home.


Polly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crosby said...

Pizza and milkshakes in Zanzibar? Come on guys...

Peter Spiro said...

God meant man to grow a beard! Chris I just gave myself a big trim and I was worried your beard might be longer than mine. Unsettling.

Yes the food in Africa will suck, especially if it was a British colony. Look for Lebanese or Indian places.

banyba said...

try this place...

If you're visiting Paje on the East Coast of Zanzibar you have to visit Mr
Chaamu's restaurant.

An enterprising one-man band, he has set up 3 tables under cover on the beach and offers fantastic seafood dishes with traditional breads.
Bring your own beverages and be sure to book in advance as he sources everything on the day.

Also, ask about his early morning fishing trips. He will take up to 4 people out on his boat to catch the restaurant's fish for the day. He then cooks your catch for you and all of this is done at a fraction of the cost of similar trips at nearby
hotels. An absolute highlight of our holiday!

North of the Paje dive site, 10 min walk along the beach

Megan said...

bad food in east africa?

yeah, i hear you.

you two should come to the village and i'll make you some muzungu food. hope all is well and let me know your plans on traveling a bit northwest.